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International Rescue Committee Interview
Questions

31 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Public Good     Nonprofit    
Question 1 of 31
How do you handle stress on the job?
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How to Answer
Are you someone who can handle stress on the job? How do you manage the stressful times? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to control pressure in the workplace.
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Answer Examples
1.
How do you handle stress on the job?
Are you someone who can handle stress on the job? How do you manage the stressful times? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to control pressure in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Stress is part of any demanding job, and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels."
2.
Have you ever been advised by a fellow employee or supervisor to lie about a situation? How did you handle this ethical dilemma?
Ethical dilemmas in the workplace will come up from time to time. Assure the interviewer that you can handle these types of difficulties with professionalism and poise.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have never been told to lie to a fellow employee or supervisor on the job. If I were to be asked to lie, I absolutely would not do that. I am not the type of personality to be pushed around on the job. I will always be myself and keep my integrity first."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have never been advised to lie in a situation and would not tolerate being put in such an ethical dilemma."
3.
Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I prefer verbal communication because I feel that with written communication, a lot can be misread due to lack of tone, fluctuation, expression and body language. I will always choose a face to face conversation whenever possible."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I like to leverage both methods of communications when dealing in business. Sometimes, situations call for verbal communications and other times, written. As a rule of thumb, I tend to practice verbal communications, with written follow up or visa versa. Utilizing multiple methods creates repetition and therefore, change."
4.
Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on.
It is essential to show the interviewer that you are a team player. Talk about a time that you were recently expected to achieve a goal in a team setting. How did you go over and above to ensure that your contribution was felt?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My biggest contribution to my last team came in the form of leadership. I am a natural leader and can foster strong communication with my team which directly impacted the overall results."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My most notable contribution was my ability to analyze and predict market trends, and then create a successful marketing strategy. Before me, there was no one with a true marketing background on the team."
5.
Do you have experience in recruiting volunteers?
A large part of the success of a nonprofit organization comes from it's dedicated volunteers. A nonprofit organization will often have recruitment fairs to find and onboard more significant amounts of volunteers. Talk to the interviewer about any experience you have in attracting potential volunteers.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my current position I have recruited a total of 40 volunteers in the last year. I am very vocal about my love for volunteering and hope that it's contagious enough to attract others. I have also helped at hiring fairs for Company ABC. I am comfortable in interviewing and screening potential volunteers as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I do not have experience in recruiting volunteers; however, this is a responsibility that I would enjoy learning more about. I am eager to expand my capabilities and feel I would be great in this capacity as I am thorough, with strong intuition."
6.
How do you encourage generosity in others; whether that be their ability to contribute financially, or with their time?
The interviewer would like to know that you can be an active employee when it comes to fundraising and recruiting for International Rescue Committee Talk to the interviewer about your ability to ask for donations, close a deal, or gain a commitment of time from volunteers.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I spent a few years in a business development role before starting my career in nonprofit fund development. I am well connected and persuasive when it comes to gaining financial and time commitments from others."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe that people will readily contribute financially, or with their time, when the cause is close to them or when they fully understand the impact that their contribution will make. I am open to individuals by showing them the impact they can make. This approach generally solicits very positive results."
7.
Many nonprofits take an apologetic approach when asking for funding. What is your fundraising approach?
Assure the interviewer that you are comfortable when it comes to asking for funds. How would you describe your approach to asking for donations?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My approach to fundraising is simple. I ask for donations assuming that they are going to say yes. I have approximately five years in corporate fundraising with targets at $4M per year. I am very confident in my ability to fund-raise in a simple and non-apologetic way."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My approach is "You don't know until you ask." I am unafraid of receiving a 'no' because for every few no's, there is a yes waiting!"
8.
At International Rescue Committee we want to work with individuals who value volunteerism. Walk me through your volunteer experience.
When applying for a nonprofit position you should be prepared to talk about how you give back to others, and how you contribute to your community. Show the interviewer that you can 'walk the walk.'

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have been involved in volunteer work with our local community for the past ten years. I have worked at our local food bank, women's shelter and humane society."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am an avid volunteer at the local animal shelter and have been for the last five years. Animal care is critical to me which is why I am also a foster parent to animals who need to be re-homed but are having a tough time being placed. I believe that all living creatures should be loved and well cared for."
9.
Do you know anyone who has worked for International Rescue Committee before? What kind of feedback have you received on our organization?
Have you ever discussed the workplace culture of International Rescue Committee with a former or current employee? What have you heard in regards to the pros and cons of working here? Make sure to keep your answer positive.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have an acquaintance who has worked for International Rescue Committee for a few years now. He has great things to say about the workplace culture. From what I understand, it's a very collaborative and creative environment here."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am not familiar with anyone within International Rescue Committee; however, I have read a multitude of phenomenal reviews on Yelp, Google, and Glassdoor. The feedback has had a common theme of being well organized, treating your staff with respect, and offering transparency that is not always common in the nonprofit industry."
10.
What are your salary expectations?
The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am currently making $60,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."
11.
Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I will rate myself an 8.5 because I consider myself a strong communicator. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator, so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."
12.
On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?
Do you feel that you are a sincere person or do you have room for growth? This question could be a tricky one as nobody is always 100% honest. Answer to the best of your ability and back your reply by speaking about your ethics.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would love to give myself a 10/10 for honesty but truthfully - nobody is 100% honest all of the time. I will give myself an nine because I always do my best to be as honest as possible."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I put a heavy focus on honesty and trustworthiness in the workplace, as well as in my personal life. Because I strive for complete honesty, I will rate myself as a 10/10. My values are solid."
13.
We want to know what you are passionate about. If you could work for any cause, what would you choose?
This question is a perfect time to show the interviewer a little bit about yourself and your passions. Don't hold back, but be sure to talk about how the cause at International Rescue Committee is of interest to you as well.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am passionate about any cause to do with helping children and animals. One of my greatest passions is my volunteer work with the local humane society. I feel that working with International Rescue Committee would help me to round out my passions. I'm very excited about this opportunity."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"There are so many worthy causes - that is a challenging question! I have a soft spot in my heart for the disabled. My sister has a physical disability, and I have worked very hard for many years to advocate for individuals with both physical and mental disabilities. If I could continue to advocate for this cause, for a living, that would be so fulfilling for me."
14.
Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond.
Display to the interviewer that you can do more than the bare minimum. Show that you can react appropriately when you see that your employer has a need that goes beyond your usual day-to-day expectations.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Last week I noticed that my manager had not completed the schedule for the following week. Some of the staff were complaining that they didn't have their work schedule yet. Rather than going to my manager with the complaint, I offered to take on some of her workload so that she would have the time to complete the schedule. We worked together for a couple of overtime hours that day and were able to catch her up on everything. It felt good to help but also benefited me by way of organization."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I often go above and beyond what is expected of me. Most recently, I agreed to cover for a co-worker who was on short-term medical leave. I worked 10 hour days for two weeks so that our work did not suffer any setbacks."
15.
How often do you take work home with you?
The majority of people will work overtime hours or take work home with them on occasion. Talk to the interviewer about how frequently to take your work home.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I make sure to utilize my work hours very efficiently, so the only time that I take my work home is when there is an extremely stringent deadline. I would say that, overall, I take my work home maybe twice per month. It's all about being diligent with your time in the office!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I value a strong balance between work and home life so I will only bring work home with me when I am at risk of missing a deadline or when there is an urgent need."
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Behavioral
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31 International Rescue Committee Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. How do you handle stress on the job?
  2. Have you ever been advised by a fellow employee or supervisor to lie about a situation? How did you handle this ethical dilemma?
  3. Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
  4. Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on.
  5. Do you have experience in recruiting volunteers?
  6. How do you encourage generosity in others; whether that be their ability to contribute financially, or with their time?
  7. Many nonprofits take an apologetic approach when asking for funding. What is your fundraising approach?
  8. At International Rescue Committee we want to work with individuals who value volunteerism. Walk me through your volunteer experience.
  9. Do you know anyone who has worked for International Rescue Committee before? What kind of feedback have you received on our organization?
  10. What are your salary expectations?
  11. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  12. On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?
  13. We want to know what you are passionate about. If you could work for any cause, what would you choose?
  14. Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond.
  15. How often do you take work home with you?
  16. Why do you want to work in the nonprofit sector when you can earn more money working in a profit driven corporate environment?
  17. At International Rescue Committee we aim to hire individuals who can wear many different 'hats' in our organization. What other job functions could you perform?
  18. At International Rescue Committee we prefer to hire those who have a penchant for sales and fundraising. Have you ever had a fundraising target from a previous nonprofit employer?
  19. At International Rescue Committee we want to hire those who are passionate about our cause. What do you know about our organization and how does our mission fit you?
  20. In your opinion, how does social media marketing fit with nonprofit fundraising?
  21. In your opinion, what are the greatest needs in our community?
  22. Do you have experience with writing grant proposals?
  23. Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
  24. Do you feel performance should be rewarded over experience?
  25. How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?
  26. Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to improve work related procedures.
  27. What experience do you have using team-based messaging applications?
  28. How do you like to encourage ideas in others?
  29. When have you used an inventive method to stretch company resources beyond the normal level?
  30. When have you shown great integrity at work?
  31. Are you applying for any other jobs?
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